Kangaroo pet food program to expire in March

FILE PIC
FILE PIC

MEMBER for Lowan Emma Kealy has called for a kangaroo culling program, which is set to end next month, to continue indefinitely. 

The state government started a trial for the processing of culled kangaroo meat for pet food in 2014.

In 2016, it was extended for two years until March 2018.

The trial includes Horsham Rural City, Yarriambiack, Northern Grampians and West Wimmera municipalities and allows permit holders to cull or take dead kangaroos off private land for commercial processing.

Ms Kealy said the state government needs to implement a permanent kangaroo pet food program. 

She said kangaroos were wreaking havoc on roads in the region.

She said not enough was being done to ensure the states kangaroo population was being managed in a humane and sustainable way.

“The kangaroo pet food trial is a practical measure to address the kangaroo problem by reducing waste, allowing carcasses to be re-purposed and creating employment,” she said.

VicRoads’ data shows there have been 797 road incidents with animals resulting in injury or fatality in the state over the past five years.

“This figure does not include the huge number of smaller prangs that have resulted in damage to vehicles, inconvenience to drivers and costly repair works, or the frightening near misses most of us have encountered,” Ms Kealy said.

“As a frequent driver across the Lowan electorate and a regular traveller to Melbourne I personally see many incidents of roadkill, meaning drivers have hit the kangaroo, damaging their car and being out of pocket due to vehicle repairs.

“I have also seen firsthand the damage that plague numbers of kangaroos are having on our ecosystem and the habitat of other native flora and fauna.

“I believe the pet food program is an effective and humane system to minimise this damage while at the same time reducing the risk on our roads.”

However, a spokesperson for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio didn’t rule out continuing the program.

“We know it’s important to give businesses the certainty they are seeking and we will have more to say on this in due course,” the spokesperson said.